1.9 out of 10


32.8298325905035 -83.6605921201023
Great for
  • Cost of Living
  • Internet Access
  • Lack of Traffic
  • Childcare
  • Resale or Rental Value
Not great for
  • Public Transport
  • Safe & Sound
  • Clean & Green
  • Medical Facilities
  • Peace & Quiet
Who lives here?
  • Professionals
  • Singles


1/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 1/5
  • Clean & Green 1/5
  • Pest Free 1/5
  • Peace & Quiet 1/5
  • Eating Out 2/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 1/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 5/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 1/5
  • Medical Facilities 1/5
  • Schools 2/5

"Poverty-stricken, crime-ridden, and dirty--all of the big city problems with none of the big city amenities"

The best recommendation I can give is that if you're thinking of moving to Macon--don't. When you come for a visit, particularly if you stick to certain areas of town (Mercer Village, River Crossing, parts of downtown), it's easy to get the impression that Macon is a pretty, charming Southern town. Unfortunately, these areas are far from representative of Macon as a whole, and many visitors don't see the downsides that Maconites have to live with on a daily basis.

I grew up on the outskirts of Macon (out in Twiggs county), and have lived near College St., not far from the Mercer campus, for the past year and a half. I've lived in this area my entire life and graduated with a degree from Mercer University. Here's why I would never, ever advise anyone to move here.

First of all, the crime rates here are ludicrously high, particularly for a city of its size. Many cities several times the size of Macon have a fraction of its crime rate. I hear police sirens every day, multiple people on our street have had their car broken into just in the past few months, and every job I've worked at has been stolen from. This city is not safe. I worry about leaving things in my car, I feel the need to have a surveillance camera for our house, and I don't feel safe walking the streets at night (honestly, I feel a little paranoid walking alone even during the daytime). Particularly if you have a family, this should really be all you need to know. No one should ever move to a city with this much crime.

Macon is also a very dirty city. Everywhere I go for a walk, anywhere in the city, I see trash littering the streets. At least once a week, I walk outside to see that someone has dumped their trash onto our lawn--which also says a lot about how disrespectful many residents of Macon are.

Macon's economy wasn't exactly the best even before the recession hit, and it's only gone further downhill since then. Wikipedia claims 30.6% of the population is below the poverty line, and I believe it. As a teenager, I remember being baffled when one of my friends from Michigan was embarrassed to have to get food stamps--in Macon, welfare is a way of life, one which the local job market makes it all but impossible to avoid. Want to find a job in Macon? Hopefully you're either in the medical field, a trucker, or an engineer who doesn't mind commuting to the base in Warner Robins. Otherwise, you'd best not mind working a dead-end retail or restaurant job for $7.25/hour, because that's all you're going to find. And don't expect a good work environment, either. Good managers don't stay in Macon--they either leave or get transferred to Atlanta. Your fellow employees will show up 2-3 hours late to work on a regular basis, and no one will care, because no one around you cares about their job, including those above you. And let's not forget the crime, of course. No matter where you work, even if it's in a nice part of town, it WILL affect you. Your place of business will get stolen from and you will feel unsafe walking to your car if you work at night. My fiance and I have asked multiple business owners in Warner Robins why they don't also open a store in Macon, and the answer is always the same: there's too much crime, and they don't want to get stolen from. Yes, it really is THAT bad.

There's many, many other things I could complain about when it comes to Macon. To summarize a few: The area as a whole is profoundly anti-intellectual and anti-technology. If you're used to using the Internet to research things or do things in your daily life, you'll find that very few business and institutions in Macon really embrace the Internet, or technology, at all. Local schools are horrendous, as is local healthcare (again, all the good doctors and teachers go to Atlanta). The public transit system might as well not exist. Chain stores in our area are always the last to get new products, and are usually far worse than the same store in any other town. (Seriously, go to Best Buy in Macon and then go to the one in Warner Robins. There's absolutely no comparison.) The same thing holds true for chain restaurants, which are all awful in Macon. Nor is our area very friendly to local business, leaving the awful national chains your only option for most things. And while this one certainly comes down to personal preference, the Macon area as a whole (and Georgia in general) is very religious and socially conservative. There are churches practically on every corner, homophobia is rampant, and our lovely Southern town even still considers it socially acceptable to be against interracial dating and marriage. If that's the vibe you're looking for, then to each their own--you'll probably love Macon. If not, be warned that you'll likely find the local culture to be incredibly judgmental underneath the facade of "Southern hospitality."

Upsides of Macon? The weather isn't too cold in the winter (it hardly ever snows here), and the cost of living is VERY low here. That's about it. To be fair, there is a sizable population of people in Macon that are trying to rebuild and improve the city, and Mercer has invested a lot in the area. (My friends and I have an ongoing semi-joke that Mercer is going to just buy up the whole city and one day the whole thing will be Mercer's campus.) Whether or not they will succeed remains to be seen, but at least they're trying.

At least as of early 2014, however, Macon remains what it has been for quite some time now: a place that has all of the big city problems, but none of the big city amenities. I would not recommend this town to anyone, for any reason. No matter what you think you may like about this city, I promise you, there are other cities that offer the same thing without all the downsides. I know I keep coming back to this, but the crime rate alone really should be enough to cross this place off anyone's list of possibilities. Just...don't move here. Just don't.
  • Very low cost of living (particularly housing)
  • Mild winters
  • Some of the highest crime rates in the country
  • Dirty city with poorly maintained amenities
  • Impossible to find a decent job

Unanswered Questions in Georgia

Best Neighborhoods to Live In

Best Cities to Live In

Tell everyone what you love about your neighborhood!

Leave a Review

Have a question?

How are schools? Is the area safe? What about public transit options?" Why not ask our community of locals!

Ask Now

Selling or Renting Your Home?

Maximize the selling price of your home by sharing what you love about your suburb to increase its appeal...

Leave a Review

Corporate Relocation Manager?

Enable your employees to share local knowledge in a private, trusted environment with those relocating... while building community.

Learn More